How to set up local folder sharing between Windows and Mac

If you use both a Windows PC and a Mac, you may spend some time fiddling with flash drives to transfer data between them. The people who prefer instant access and availability can access Cloud- Access storage services to transfer files and folders. But you’d be surprised to know that Windows and macOS also offer the ability to seamlessly share folders over local networks. Fortunately, it’s not that difficult to set up.

To the example, you can set up local folder sharing on Windows and use your Mac to easily access shared files and folders. Or, you can do the opposite and use your PC to access the content on your Mac. So let’s see how you can set up a native local folder for file sharing between a Windows PC and a Mac.

Share and access Windows folders on Mac

To set up folder sharing under Windows, you need to enable network discovery on your PC and specify the folders you want to share. You can then connect to your PC with your Mac using the Finder. The entire process can be found in the following two sections.

PC – set up local folder sharing

Step 1: Open the Notification Center and select All Settings.

Step 2: Click on the option labeled Network & Internet.

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Step 3: Select the Wi-Fi or Ethernet side tabs.

Step 4: In the Related Settings section, select Change advanced sharing options.

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Step 5: Expand Private. Then select the radio button next to Enable network discovery. Then check the box next to “Enable automatic setup of network-connected devices”.

Also select the radio button next to “Enable file and printer sharing”.

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Step 6: Choose Save Changes.

Step 7: Right click on a folder you want to share and choose Properties.

Step 8: Switch to the Sharing tab. Then click the Share button and select Share to instantly share the folder.

Or select the Advanced Sharing button to determine the exact sharing permissions (Full Control, Modify, or Read) that you want to provide.

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Step 9: Exit the properties screen and repeat the process for any other folders that you want to share.

How to Access Windows Shared Folders on Mac

Assuming you’ve set up the local folders correctly on Windows, and your Mac is on the same network. This is how you can access the shared folders.

Step 1: Open the Finder.

Step 2: Open the Go menu and select Connect to Server.

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Step 3: Enter smb: // followed by the name of your PC.

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Step 4: Enter your Windows username and password to connect to your computer.

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Step 5: Select your PC in the Finder sidebar to access your Windows shared folders.

Share Mac folder on Windows

On your Mac, you can set up folder sharing and configure the various files and folders that you can share (including folder permissions) using the Sharing Area in System Preferences. You can then use File Explorer on your PC to access the shared items.

Set up local folder sharing on Mac

Just like Windows, macOS lets you set up local folder sharing with connected computers on the same network.,

Step 1: Open the Apple menu and choose System Preferences.

Step 2: Click the icon labeled Share.

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Step 3: Check the box next to File Sharing and click the button labeled Options.

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Step 4: Check the box next to “Share files and folders using SMB” and select your account. Then select Done.

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Step 5: Select the plus sign (+) under the Shared Folders section to add a folder that you want to share. Don’t forget to tweak the folder permissions in the Users section. Repeat for any other folders you want to share.

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Step 6: Exit the sharing area.

How to access Mac’s shared folders on Windows

Now let’s check how to access the shared folders you just set up on Mac from your Windows PC.

Step 1: Open the file explorer.

Step 2: Enter in the file explorer address bar. Then enter your Mac’s IP address. If you don’t know the IP address, you can find it in the shared area on your Mac.

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Step 3: Enter your Mac’s user credentials to access your folders.

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Step 4: Then view them by selecting your Mac in the File Explorer sidebar.

Start sharing seamlessly

Once you’ve set up local folder sharing on your Windows and Mac, it’s incredibly easy to access your files as long as both devices are connected to the same network. Of course, the quality of the data transfer and the speeds depend entirely on some factors such as: Your usual pictures and documents may not take too long, but there will be some delay when you are transferring large multimedia files.

To prevent malicious actors from accessing your data without your permission, only use this feature on private networks that you absolutely trust. When in doubt, consider using alternative file sharing methods instead.

Next Up:

Do you want to transfer files from your iPhone to PC? Check out these 5 best apps to transfer files from iOS to your Windows based computer.

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